The drive from Jaipur to Pushkar is not long but it is uneventful. It goes on for a while and then after sitting around doing nothing for some time, it is over.
This was a good prelude for what life in Pushkar is like. There’s a lot of sitting around in coffeehouses, drinking their Lassi. It’s quite special as you do get a lot of bhang for your buck. We spent a couple of days of relaxing and lazying around which gave me a lot of time to relax and think.
So I think now is a good time to do a little summary of my thoughts after my first week in India. A lot has happened and I think it will also help me process it all. Let’s start with what I’ve enjoyed so far and what’s gone right.
The things I am enjoying the most so far have been the monuments, the local markets and the normal people. Basically it seems I enjoy any moment when I can forget I’m a big white guy walking around India. It’s great to exchange a smile with a random stranger, take a look at a stall and not get dragged in for a tea and a sales pitch.
I also think that getting a car for this first section has been a good idea so far. We’ve seen a lot more than we would have otherwise and kuldeep is a great driver and guide, though a little stubborn at times. Overall I’m very happy we got him.
The last thing that’s gone very well is my camera/technology setup. Everything is working great and I’ve had no issues so far. The Radpower Filehub works great and I don’t think I’ll ever travel without it again.
Things that I could do without: the constant screams of “Hello, where are you from?” to try and sell you things. Random tuk tuks following you for minutes and strangers “just offering to help” when they clearly have an ulterior motive. It gets old very fast. Also Kuldeep has landed us in a couple of these situations and that was not too appreciated. Though we did end up buying something both times so maybe we did appreciate it?
I also could do without the constant shoes on/off parade. I don’t mind a little barefoot walking but these temples are surrounded by grime and dust and I don’t feel like getting my ugly feet dirty 3 times a day. Also having to leave your bags outside seems ridiculous. I feel very paranoid about leaving my camera anywhere.
Lastly here are a few things that have really surprised me:
Cows are not so peaceful. We’ve seen our fair share of cows getting annoyed at people and one even went for Esther!
People here litter a lot!
Road and speed signs are like short pieces of fiction. They describe an ideal world but nobody can live up to their standards.
A road will stretch to fit as many vehicles as want to pass by at the same time.
If a vendor, guide, tuk tuk driver, etc. tells you a place is closed, it is probably open.
These are a few thoughts and impressions from Pushkar. Next stop Agra and the Taj Mahal!!!
It’s been a while since I posted on this site but I think now is a good time to let you all know that in just 3 weeks I’ll be heading over to India and Nepal for a one month tour through these two beautiful countries.
This will be my second time travelling to Nepal which is exhilarating for me as it is one of the countries that reignited my passion for travelling and where I really fell in love with travel photography. It’s also going to be a shock to go back to Nepal after the tragic earthquake they had in 2015.
As usual I’m not 100% sure of what I’ll be seeing and when but I’ll be keeping you all up to date on my progress. We will be landing in Delhi on the 23rd of September and flying back from Kathmandu on the 20th of October. All we need to figure out is how to get from one place to the other.
For this trip I’ll be taking the wonderful X-Pro2 and a small selection of lenses instead of the X100S. I feel like I’ll need a little more flexibility on this trip so the X100S might be a little limiting. I ahve also recently obtained the new 23mm f2 lens for the X-Pro2 so I’ll still have my trusty 35mm POV.
In my next post I’ll try to compare my travel setup on this trip compared to my last Nepal trip and see how my travelling has changed in the last 4 years! If you’re interested in reading my packing list from 4 years ago, you can read it right here. You can also read through my posts from that trip my clicking on the link to posts from September 2013.
I’m finally done packing. Thought you might be interested in the final toll:
Total Backpack weight: 7.8 kg. This contains all my clothes, utilities, and most of the non-electronic gear.
Total shoulder-bag weight: 6.3 kg!!! I guess this will be emptied often as I’m unlikely to be carrying that around for long. For treks and long walks I can put a lot of the stuff in the backpack as there is still room. I just don’t trust a lot of this stuff to our beloved baggage handlers. 🙂
PS: The 2 litre drink bottle is added for size reference. 🙂
I know I am taking a lot of Camera equipment but believe me it could be a lot worse! I also have a fair share of electronics as that will allow me to blog, read my books and make me feel all fuzzy inside.
All of the clothes, utilities and various items fit nicely into my 45 liter backpack and it is not heavy at all. The Camera and electronics equipment goes into my shoulderbag as I do not trust it into the hold of the plane. I plan on leaving most of it in the hostel safe when walking around and only carrying my camera equipment which is not heavy.
Do you think I’ve missed anything? If so, please post below!
UPDATE: Thanks to comments and suggestions from the good people of the internet and real life, the following items have been added to the list: